Friday, 23 July 2010


Hello, one and all, our dear dear friends. Have you missed us? Of course you have. Perhaps your life has been lacking in wit since our abrupt departure. Perhaps it has become a cold, cruel wasteland of somber sincerity. Perhaps you have even trekked into Orvo itself, confident in The Guide, only to find that the information we have lovingly provided is shoddy at best and criminally misleading at worst.* But never fear, dears: we have returned, and we brought you a treat.

That's right. It is now time to divulge the ins and outs of dating in Orvo. This is a vitally important chapter because the entirety of Orvo--from its government to its events and venues--is geared towards one thing, and one thing only: encouraging Orvish adults to devolve into awkward teens. It is all part of a sinister plot to help Orvo win the coveted distinction of being the "Youngest (and Consequently Least Functional) City in America," and it is achieved through rampant date-mongering.

In Orvo, you will not find a single activity that you are not encouraged to share, and you'd be better off not trying. After all, being tipsy from chugging two Cokes and several packets of Pop Rocks is just not fulfilling unless there's someone to watch you belt Lady Gaga songs to the skies as you laboriously crawl over a fence to get to an apartment complex hot tub, in clear violation of the 8:00 p.m. curfew. And heaven help you if you think you're capable of navigating a book store solo. The clerks and clerkesses have eyes and earesses, and they are well-trained to spot stragglers. Buying a copy of Thus Spoke Zarathustra alone says, "I'm a disaffected college student with sinister intentions towards established religion, government, and frozen yogurt establishments. The bombs are already in place and OH WHY DOESN'T ANYONE LOVE ME????" Buying a copy of Twilight with a suitable partner, on the other hand, says, "I'm a perfectly well-adjusted, whimsical creature of fancy, off to change the world for the better through the all-consuming power of love and glitter and repressed fantasies."**

So. Now that we've impressed you with the importance of dating, how do you go about it? Never fear! We have plenty of great hints, based off plenty of (sorta acceptable) experience.

1.  Don't Try to Blend In.
This is a common mistake that visitors make; they seem to think that mimicking Orvo culture will put native Orvites at ease, making the dating process easier. NOT SO. See, the Orvish operate on a subconscious hive mentality. The greatest thrill for a true Orvite is gathering a newcomer under his/her wing and introducing them to the joys of homogeny. If you act as if you already understand the Orvish culture, the thrill of the chase will be gone long before the actual capture. Instead, let your natural curiosity run wild. Stare openly at the Orvish while asking hard questions like, "Why are there carrots in my jello?" and, "Why are there so many tandem bikes around?"  This will almost certainly lead to a torrent of information, as very few Orvish can resist the urge to discuss their uniqueness to an exhaustive degree. Prepare (bring along light snacks and reading material) and endure; by the end, your Orvish companion will consider you to be a suitable subject for acquisition.

2. Speed Dating. Don't Bother.
Speed dating has flourished in Orvo, but the experienced can tell you it is a waste of time because ALL dating in Orvo is speed dating. Once you have encouraged an Orvite to acquire you, sit back and wait. Eventually you will receive an invitation to do something together. Something innocuous and in no way romantic.  Babysitting a stranger's children, visiting elderly, and walking extensively around big lawns are all suitable options. Accept this invitation without hesitation and make sure you get plenty of rest the night before; it's time for the Eligibility Questionnaire.
The Eligibility Questionnaire is an opportunity for the Orvite to determine your mate potential. The Orvish are nothing if not concerned with the future; if you cannot show yourself to be suitable wife/husband material, do not count on a second date. On the bright side, the Questionnaire is never very long or creative. As long as you remember to mention that you can cook, love kids, and can sing Disney songs by heart, you'll pass with flying colors--though occasionally you may be encouraged to actually sing "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid, just to prove you weren't lying. If you passed, congratulations! You're 2/3 of the way towards marriage!

3. Dress to Impress.
When dating an Orvite, always dress as if you were about to meet his/her mother. About to meet his/her mother on a day when she's just broken her hip and the doctor refuses to give her any sweet, sweet narcotic relief, instead leaving her chained to a hospital bed with a bowl of lemons and a sappy suggestion to make lemonade, printed on yellow paper adorned with bad clipart. And, in fact, you are about to meet said mother--even if your chosen Orvite has never had such a spectacularly unfortunate relative. For you see, thanks to the aforementioned hive mentality, each Orvite you encounter will not only be judging you according to his/her own standards, but also according to the standards of anyone who has ever had an opinion on anything (and the good social standing to make it count). Luckily, this approval is relatively easy to earn by covering up every inch of exposed flesh. If you're visiting during the summer and have run out of sunblock, all the better: you can impress the locals and save your skin at the same time.  If you're feeling daring, feel free to flash a little earlobe now and again.***

4. Congratulations!! You're Married!!
What's that? You can't remember the wedding or even deciding that you were willing to marry anyone in the first place? Well, don't worry too much. We here at Orvo: The Guide are here for you, with plenty more sound advice for the future. Now sit back with this exotic Tahitian health cocktail and hang on to your Croc sandals; it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

* This is your fault, not ours. If you have only LOVED us like we DESERVED, we could have reached our full potential. We could have been writers for National Geographic and spent our days eating bonbons off the backs of graceful giraffes while our interns did our research.

** In case you hadn't realized (and A and I hope, we truly do, that you HAD), this is not the case solely in Orvo. It is a phenomenon that is raging across our great country, threatening its greatness more than Socialism and Hitler COMBINED. If you want to join our fight, as concerned celebrities Kevin Spacey, Winona Rider, and Tom Cruise already have, donate to ACT NOW!

*** But only if no one's looking.

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